Indian Ocean refugees: 20,000 so far this year

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – More than 20,000 people have risked their lives as refugees trying to cross the Indian Ocean, often paying $50 to 300 each to human smugglers – who then, in some cases, herded them into camps where they were forced to contact relatives back home for ransoms. The figures are part of a […]

Weather forecasts, climate predictions come together


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – One thousand world specialists in the two fields of meteorology (weather) and climate change met in Montreal, Canada 16 to 21 August for the first World Weather Open Science conference. The meeting was designed to advance the use of science in the field of weather forecasting, but it also underscored a significant […]

Monkey, man and copyright: the debate in Geneva

"Macaca nigra self-portrait full body" by Self-portrait by the depicted Macaca nigra female - Daily Mail. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – One of the most surprising digital debates of the moment is the case of photographer David Slater and a photo taken by a Macaca monkey, which became an online hit thanks to Wikimedia. Geneva-based IP Watch carries a wonderful review of the legal issues, by two lawyers, who don’t […]

Record number humanitarian workers victims of violence

Days before the sudden influx, monitors reported that people were arriving by bus and setting up makeshift camps on the Syrian side of the Peshkhabour border crossing.  UNHCR / G. Gubaeva

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Humanitarian workers appear to be at growing risk in several parts of the world, based on figures being released today by the United Nations, with 460 people victims of violence in the line of work in 2013. In 2012, the figure was 274. The figures include deaths, injuries and kidnappings for the […]

WHO approves untested Ebola treatments

WHO headquarters in Geneva

Death toll reaches 1,000 and first European death occurs in Madrid GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Drugs that have not yet been approved may be used to treat the virulent Ebola virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva said in a statement issued Tuesday. The disease has killed 1,000 people in West Africa in recent weeks […]

Asylum numbers up 30% in one month, mainly Eritreans

Immigration in Switzerland

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The number of people seeking asylum in Switzerland rose by 30 percent in one month, but the statistics were somewhat skewered by the problem of a lack of competent translators. The Federal Migration Office says the increase is due mainly to a jump in June in the number of people arriving from […]

Human rights racism group to review US record

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The United States human rights record in relation to racism comes up for review 13 and 14 August, the periodic review of its compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Geneva. The review comes just as the FBI opens a civil rights investigation […]

WHO issues worldwide Ebola alert

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The World Health Organization in Geneva late Thursday declared the Ebola virus outbreak an “extraordinary event” and a public health risk to other States. It called for a coordinated international response to stop and reserves the spread of the disease. The announcement came after a two-day emergency teleconference meeting in which officials […]

Swiss head food safety register

Food in the South Pacific (photo: Unicef)

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland will chair the Geneva-based Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for the next three years, during a period of global growth in the food trade. Awilo Ochieng Pernet was elected chairperson of the CAC Tuesday 15 July in Geneva. “The lawyer has worked for this international food safety regulatory body since 1999 and […]

Lake Geneva area news roundup

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Summertime news roundup: Storms sweep Lake Geneva region The air was heavy with promised thunderstorms by 15:00 Friday and shortly after the black clouds formed in the region, bringing high winds and heavy rain. Trees were uprooted in Morges and Préverenges and in Lausanne the Bellerive fan zone was evacuated, with stands […]